Bellingham’s historic Granary Building, home to the famed photo spot the “heart of Bellingham,” will begin to undergo redevelopment sometime this summer, said John Reid, main design architect and project manager for the Granary remodel.
The historic Granary building, built in 1928, which used to be an egg and poultry business, sits as an empty building on Bellingham’s waterfront.
In 2017, the city of Bellingham will begin construction on roads and a waterfront park around the Granary building.
The Port of Bellingham has also added American Construction Company to their team to help with a $30.6 million cleanup of the Whatcom Waterway, according to the Port of Bellingham website.
The cleanup of the Whatcom Waterway includes restoring salmon habitat, rebuilding marine infrastructure and creating construction jobs and employment opportunities.
“The Port is working with Western Washington University and potential private investors to develop a strategy for facilities and programming which support Western’s future expansion to the Waterfront District,” according to the website.
Vice President for University Relations and Community Development at Western Steve Swan said in an email that Western has been a supportive partner in the waterfront construction with the Port of Bellingham and the city.
He said that the university supports the plans of the redevelopment and is excited for the physical presence in the future.
“While we are not a part of it, we are excited that Harcourt Development will be starting the first phase of the development with the Granary Building project,” Swan said in an email.
Public Affairs Administrator for the Port of Bellingham Mike Hogan said that they are building new roads and connections which will be designed to handle the increased capacity of traffic.
Hogan said they performed an environmental impact study, focusing on what increased traffic in the downtown area will look like over time to ensure they will have enough connections for traffic.
Harcourt Developments will be helping with the construction of the Granary Building.
Reid, who works for Harcourt Developments, said he is hoping that this construction will open up the waterfront to the community.
“I’m hoping it will be a Granville Island type of regeneration on the Bellingham waterfront, ” he said.
Reid also believes that there will be no problem with the traffic in the surrounding area.
Hogan said the Granary building is looking to be finished by next year and will include retail spaces on the ground floor and office spaces on the upper floors.
Reid said there is a lot of excitement and desire for the Granary project to start.
“We hope the the Granary project will be the start of a number of projects leading to a long term development of the waterfront site and bringing it back into use of the community of Bellingham,” he said.
*Editor’s note: A previous version of this article misstated the redevelopment starting date. The Granary Building will start the redevelopment sometime this summer.